Extraordinary Genius - Chapter 460 – Questions Part 1 of 3
At the agriculture machinery production workshop, the production lines were in full operations. All the workers were concentrating on their work. The Chief Architect was very pleased with what he saw. This company did not arrange for those useless welcoming ceremony. Very good.
“I heard that your company’s agriculture machinery is the most advanced in China and had already reached international standards?”
“That’s right. Currently, our tractors, seeding and some other machines had reached international standards. But our harvesters and rice transplanter still needs improvement to reach that standard. We are trying to catch up with the rest of the world.” Feng Yu replied cautiously.
The Chief Architect nodded. This young man was not too modest and not boastful. He only speaks the truth. Very good.
This company’s banners had interesting slogans. Technology is the number one productivity was something he had said before. But the other slogan was something new. “Keep both feet on the ground and not chase fame; Be fair and honest for a good reputation”. This slogan will remind the workers to focus on their work and not to be over-ambitious.
Iron-fist Zhu also nodded when he saw the banners. All the government workers should also be like this.
The Chief Architect stopped and said: “These slogans are very interesting.”
Li Mingde replied loudly: “All our workers must keep these slogans in mind and had to abide by them. The Party members are leading the rest of the workers by setting examples.”
“Isn’t this company a private enterprise? Why are there Party members?” The Chief Architect asked. He knew that many private enterprises were not willing to keep Party members in their companies. Especially for those Hong Kong companies and foreign enterprises.
“We are a joint-venture enterprise, and there are many Party members in the company. So, we keep the Party branch. Actually, the department that has the most authority is our Union. Our Union has a rule. If two-thirds of the workers think that I am not qualified to lead them, I will be removed from my position by the shareholders!” Li Mingde explained.
“Worker’s Union can sack the General Manager? This is something new. Who is the one who came out with this rule?”
“I feel that the General Manager must have the ability to lead the whole company towards the right direction. This is also the reason why many MNC can succeed. We can learn and use this method too.” Feng Yu said. If two-thirds of the workers want to sack the General Manager, that means this General Manager had failed in his duties and was incapable. He should be sacked. Anyway, the shareholders were not affected.
Iron-fist Zhu, who was standing behind the Chief Architect looked at Feng Yu with interest. With Feng Yu’s age and could set up such a successful company, no wonder he has such thinking. Interesting.
After touring the main production area, the Chief Architect went to visit the motorcycle factory.
At the motorcycle factory, the Chief Architect saw the assembly of the motorcycles. Every motorcycle was tested by at least two people. The workers even checked every single screw. The Chief Architect was very pleased to see the workers working so seriously.
“Your motorcycle production lines are also from the former Soviet Union?”
“Yes. But we have modified it to suit our people. We are also exporting some of our motorcycles to Russia. We are planning to export our motorcycles to Taiwan next year.”
The Chief Architect asked with interest: “Our motorcycles are already better than Taiwanese motorcycles?” Taiwan’s motorcycle industry was more developed than China as it had started much earlier.
“Our suspensions, headlights and exterior designs are better than them. But they are still better regarding fuel efficiency and the weight of the motorcycles. We are currently also developing smaller CC motorcycles.” Feng Yu explained.
“Hmmm….. Good, good…….” The Chief Architect nodded.
The Chief Architect did not mention which part of the motorcycle was good.
After his visit to the motorcycle factory, the Chief Architect still wants to visit the automobile factory.
The Provincial Governor and the rest of the official persuaded him to take a rest first. He can visit the automobile factory later in the afternoon.
The Chief Architect insisted and waved his hand: “No need. I want to see the vehicles is produced by our China’s biggest private automobile manufacturer!”
The Provincial Governor saw the Chief Architect insistence, and he was delighted. It seems he was right to help the Machinery Company to get the paperwork done and give them subsidy!
“Xiao Feng, sit in our car with us.” The Chief Architect waved to Feng Yu.
Huh? Sit together with the Chief Architect in the same car?
In the car, Feng Yu sat in the middle of the rear passenger seat. Both his arms were in between his leg, trying to make himself smaller. He was afraid he would take up too much space, and the Chief Architect will feel the squeeze. Hmmm…. it was also not good for the Provincial Governor to feel squeezy too.
“Xiao Feng, I saw an article on the some time back. The article is criticizing the joint-venture vehicles and said that it is doing more harm than good to China. What are your views on this?”
Feng Yu starts to sweat.
How would I know the author would write such things? This joint-venture vehicle was suggested by the Chief Architect to increase the competitiveness of China’s backward automobile manufacturer. But this author had criticized this and claimed that this was harming the industry!
Was this Chief Architect here to get even with me?
But it can’t be. If he wants to get even with me, why would he still visit the Machinery Company? He must be interested in my views.
“Many of the things mentioned in that article had come from me. If this was a few years back, this joint-venture was the fastest way to improve our automobile manufacturers’ technologies. Everybody had no choice but to partner with foreign MNC. However, I think joint-venture had done more harm than good for this industry! Why is the difference between the selling price and the cost price for a car so wide? The most valuable thing in a car is the technology. Our country has many talents, but because we started off later than the rest of the world and we lack the development funds, we are unable to develop fast. Joint-ventures was the fastest way for us to get the technologies we need, but the length of the joint-ventures are too long, and our skills will still be behind the developed countries.”
“From what I know, Toyota has set up two R&D centers in China. The technologies they are developing are not the core technologies. On the surface, they seem to be helping us to develop our technologies. But in reality, they are taking advantage of our low-cost technicians to do research for them. Did these centers develop any talents? Yes, but where are they? They had resigned and went to work in Japan for higher salaries.”
“The biggest problem with Joint-venture is the issue of branding. Why does those foreign MNC insist the Joint-venture vehicles use their brands at the expenses of even giving up part of their profits? It is because 10 or 20 years later, their brands will become part of the consumers. Even if we stop working with them, those foreign brands had already entered the Chinese market. This is the reason why we must protect our own brand and increase the scale of our automobile manufacturers.”
“Our Machinery Company had spent a lot to hire the top automobile engineers from Russia and Germany. At the same time, we are also training our own engineers. This way, we can prevent those developed countries from monopolizing technologies and selling us obsoleted technologies from their countries. Because we are able to develop more advanced technologies ourselves.”
“You are saying that your technologies are better than the overseas technologies at First Automobile Works?”
“We are better in certain aspects and in some areas, we are about the same. But overall, our vehicles will not lose to those joint-ventured vehicles! Also, the current government policies are helping those joint-venture factories. The reason why we want to start our own automobile factory is that we do not wish to see our China automobile brand disappear from the roads. We do not want to see only foreign brands’ cars on the streets in China!”
The Chief Architect closed his eyes and leaned back. He was thinking about what Feng Yu said and that article.
Joint-ventures cannot carry on. Those automobile manufacturers who were still thinking about partnering with foreign MNC should wake up. How come a private company could develop its own vehicles and those state-owned enterprises can’t? Even after the country had invested so much money in these state-owned enterprises, they still lacked in technologies?
Was this the engineers’ problem or the management? Although Feng Yu had viewed this issue from several perspectives, this issue involves many areas where Feng Yu does not understand. However, what Feng Yu said was right. Especially the problem of brands. Seems like he had to look into this issue and think about the direction of the Chinese automobile manufacturing industry.
“Sir, we have arrived at the automobile branch factory.” The officer in the front passenger seat turned and said.
“Let’s go and see the performance of this Songjiang Motor vehicles!”